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Lupin1
KF Sempai
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Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 1608
Location: NH USA
Styles: Isshinryu

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Martial Arts Reflections? Reply with quote

So even though I'm still pretty far away from my black belt test (at least a year, probably closer to two), my instructor e-mailed me his "black belt guide" last week to start preparing for the test. This set me on a "time to get way more serious about my training" kick, part of which involved starting a training binder with a training log, section for research, etc. One of the sections I've started in my binder is for reflection papers (I'm the kind of person who overthinks EVERYTHING and I think written reflections help channel and organize my overthinking).

So I was wondering if anyone has any good ideas for things to reflect on in my lead up to black belt. I already started by reflecting on my journey up to now and a little bit on "what black belt means to me" (a topic I think I'll revisit as it gets closer to see how my view has changed). I also have plans for spending at least a month reflecting on each of Tatsuo Shimabuku's 8 Codes of Karate, as part of the test is explaining one's interpretation of each.

Any good ideas that might help me build up a good mindset and prepare myself mentally or even just look at things from an interesting new angle, etc? And yes-- I do know I'm overthinking it-- but again, that's what I do. I'm just trying to channel my overthinking to use it productively.


Last edited by Lupin1 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tallgeese
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6851
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, on the approach to black belt, I can't think of a better topic than warrior mindset. It's one of THE most overlooked and undervalued traits among martial artists today.

Check out some of the relevent material on the subject, from the classics such as the Hagakuri and the Book of Five Rings to more modern material such as Grossman's works (particularly On Combat) and Atkinson's Warrior Mindset text.

This is one of the things that make the difference between a martial artist and a skilled dancer. Mindset.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27854
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with tallgeese. Also, just make different notes on classes, how you feel from day to day, and things like that. Some idea will pop in, and you'll expound on it, and get some reflections there.
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Groinstrike
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 923
Location: Richland County
Styles: Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do, BJJ M

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tallgeese wrote:
Personally, on the approach to black belt, I can't think of a better topic than warrior mindset. It's one of THE most overlooked and undervalued traits among martial artists today.

Check out some of the relevent material on the subject, from the classics such as the Hagakuri and the Book of Five Rings to more modern material such as Grossman's works (particularly On Combat) and Atkinson's Warrior Mindset text.

This is one of the things that make the difference between a martial artist and a skilled dancer. Mindset.


Well said, something touched upon in modern combative texts is the idea of a trigger word. For example our sensei has suggested the word "vicious" when the bell goes off to start fighting. That bell can be different things, it could be an actual bell if in competition, or it could be the sucker punch or the grab or someone presenting a weapon. You must have the trigger telling you when to act and finish the fight.
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1660
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Shorin Ryu, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Mantis, Schola Saint George (Fiorian sword fighting)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I started the home stretch to my Black Belt I started to pick up a lot of books on Martial Arts philosophy and reflected on that.

If you're not a reader, or you simply don't have time to do that or that idea just seems boring to you I would suggest looking back on conflicts that you've had during that particular day and how you solved them. After that, ask yourself if it was the right or wrong solution, and if your journey as a Martial Artist shaped this decision. Part of being a Black Belt is how we handle ourselves in the day to day, regardless of situation. We represent not only the body of Martial Artists, but ourselves. Are you conducting yourself in a way that befits a Black Belt?
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27854
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zaine wrote:
When I started the home stretch to my Black Belt I started to pick up a lot of books on Martial Arts philosophy and reflected on that.

If you're not a reader, or you simply don't have time to do that or that idea just seems boring to you I would suggest looking back on conflicts that you've had during that particular day and how you solved them. After that, ask yourself if it was the right or wrong solution, and if your journey as a Martial Artist shaped this decision. Part of being a Black Belt is how we handle ourselves in the day to day, regardless of situation. We represent not only the body of Martial Artists, but ourselves. Are you conducting yourself in a way that befits a Black Belt?
That's very solid advise there. Good post, Zaine.
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